This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Which kitchen trash cans are best?

You need a kitchen trash can to keep your garbage contained after cleaning the kitchen, cooking a meal or just living your day-to-day life. A top-quality kitchen trash can will keep out any pests, seal in those nasty smells and make taking out the garbage an easy task. That being said, it can be difficult to know which kitchen trash can to choose, with so many kitchen trash cans on the market. For a top pick, check out the Simplehuman Swing Top Trash Can.

What to know before you buy a kitchen trash can


Weight is a crucial factor to consider. If you have hungry pets or children in your household, then you should buy a weighted kitchen trash can. A weighted can will help prevent any trash can tip-overs, whether they are accidental or not.


Think about the amount of trash that you throw out on a regular basis. If you choose a kitchen trash can that is too small for your household and daily trash needs, then you might be stuck taking out the trash every single day. That being said, you don’t want to purchase a kitchen trash can that’s too large, because then you might not take out the trash often enough and your kitchen could start to smell.

What to look for in a quality kitchen trash can


Trash cans come in a few different lid types, including hands-free lids, swing lids, lift lids, sensor lids and even no-lid options. Hands-free lid trash cans feature foot pedals to open the lid and are perfect for kitchens where you are often cooking with raw meat and other ingredients and don’t want to risk bacterial contamination. 

Lift lids keep your trash out of sight, but they don’t often work well for kitchen trash cans since you need to touch the lid. Sensor lids open automatically with detected movement. Trash cans with no lids don’t work well for food waste since they don’t cover the smell.


Stainless steel kitchen trash cans tend to be the easiest to clean, and they don’t absorb any of the bad smells. Plastic tends to be less expensive, but it also stains more easily than metal does.


Many kitchen trash cans come with separate compartments for trash can recycling. Multi-chambered trash cans work well if your municipality requires you to sort your trash.

How much you can expect to spend on a kitchen trash can

Kitchen trash cans vary in price from about $20 and under for budget-friendly trash cans to $150 or more for high-end trash cans. Mid-range kitchen trash cans cost about $50-$150.

Kitchen trash can FAQ

How can you reduce the amount of waste you produce on a daily basis if you constantly need to empty your kitchen trash can?

A. Dumping everything into your kitchen trash can might be tempting, but you should practice caution when throwing things away and ask yourself if the item you’re throwing away could be recycled instead. One of the biggest sources of trash is food waste, so you should look into composting if you want to work on producing less trash.

Why does your kitchen trash can smell bad?

A. The obvious answer is trash, but there might be an underlying reason for the bad smell. For example, your trash will start to rot and smell horrible if it sits too long, so you can try taking out your trash more often. You might also be dumping too many liquids into your kitchen trash can since bacteria thrives on moisture. 

Or you might be neglecting to clean your kitchen trash can properly. Wash your kitchen trash can once in a while to prevent any bad smells. If your kitchen trash can still smells bad, you can try getting scented trash bags that control odor. Or you can try throwing odor neutralizers, like coffee grounds or baking soda, in with your waste to help control those bad smells.

Is there anything you should avoid throwing into the kitchen trash can?

A. You should check your city’s website when you are in doubt. Most towns and cities have helpful guidelines that list out what should and should not be thrown away for regular curbside pickup. For example, you should keep batteries, electronics and sharp items like needles and broken glass out of your kitchen trash can.

What’s the best kitchen trash can to buy?

Top kitchen trash can

Simplehuman Swing Top Trash Can

Simplehuman Swing Top Trash Can

What you need to know: This high-quality, swing-top trash can from Simplehuman is the ideal addition to any kitchen.

What you’ll love: This sleek trash can comes with a 10-year warranty and a top lid that easily comes off of the trash can for a simple bag change. You can also use this model as an open lid trash can for large parties and events.

What you should consider: This Simplehuman trash can is on the more pricey end of trash can models.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top kitchen trash can for the money

Umbra Venti 16.5-Gallon Swing Top Kitchen Trash Can

Umbra Venti 16.5-Gallon Swing Top Kitchen Trash Can

What you need to know: This top-quality, 16.5-gallon trash will offer you lots of bang for your buck.

What you’ll love: This large capacity trash can uses 20-gallon or 30-gallon trash bags, meaning you won’t have to take out the trash as often. It has a swing top design for easy tossing of trash.

What you should consider: While it’s made of a strong polypropylene material, some users don’t like the plastic look.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Rubbermaid Commercial Untouchable Trash Can with Swing Lid

Rubbermaid Commercial Untouchable Trash Can with Swing Lid

What you need to know: This Rubbermaid commercial trash can is the perfect option for bigger families who want an extra-large, commercial-grade trash can.

What you’ll love: This commercial-grade trash can features a large capacity build able to hold up to 23 gallons of waste and two liner cinches, which keep the bag in place. The trash can is also resistant to cracks.

What you should consider: Keep in mind that trash bags for a trash can this big can get expensive.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Alex Kilpatrick writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.